5 Films that changed the face of Bollywood
A lot has changed over the years when it comes to the mindset of the people, making up for the society as a whole. Gender issues, caste issues are now discussed all the time, to encourage more exchange of information bridging the generation gap. The society is much more responsible in the present day while approaching any of these issues with sensitivity. Much of this change has been successfully represented in the face of media, mainly films. Apart from entertainment purposes, films have now become far more educational than we could have expected previously.
Bollywood movies has expanded their scripts to fit the expanded urban families, the ever-growing educated youth who have begun to question the purpose that films fulfill and the larger context that it attempts to answer.
1. Kya Kehna (2000)
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Releasing in the year 2000 that marked the beginning of the millennium, this film was one of first of its kind that questioned the position of women. The female protagonist, played by Preity Zinta, struggled to find acceptance among the social mindset. Priya’s premarital pregnancy had stirred much conversation among her conservative family. ‘Kya Kehna’ also translated as ‘What to say’, had been received openly by the critics thus leading to rave reviews for braving a topic that was less spoken about.
2. Nayak, The Real Hero (2001)
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The Hindi political action thriller starring Anil Kapoor as its protagonist can be counted as another kind of progressive film. The film deals with ambition and corruption at the heart of it and the ways in which these elements meet and converge. Even though the film suffered from multiple storyline issues, its focus on the politics of journalism and government seems to be much more relatable to us in 2020 than it has ever been.
3. Dil Chahta Hain (2001)
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The plot- tale of three friends and a variety of their love lives. As simple as it seems, the story attempts to understand the different faces and phases of love that young individuals can come across. The three friends played by Amir Khan, Akshay Khanna and Saif Ali Khan, set out to approach their lives in way of coping up with the problems of becoming an ‘official’ adult after their graduation. The choices of their responsibilities determine their future and the story makes it easier to mark the differences between the characters. Although the characters would have received much backlash due to the portrayal of privileged families that simplifies numerous issues, the film was well received by the critics and continues to remain as an all time loved film of the audience.
4. English Vinglish (2012)
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The last decade was a success in terms of involving more women as lead protagonists in Bollywood films. ‘English Vinglish’ successfully brings a conversation starter in the table through the journey of a woman in a society that is obsessed with the importance of the English language. India as a country is still living its colonial times reinforced through knowledge of Western mannerisms and the language itself, putting shame on those who neither believes nor possess the knowledge for either of these. Shashi Godbole, played by the late actress Sridevi, is the regular face of humiliation for her teenage daughter and the corporate sector working husband. The character proceeds to achieve independence through the learning of the English language along with travelling alone to the US and exploring much of Manhattan on her own. Escaping the reserved role of an Indian housewife, Shashi continues to be independent as well as a figure that is rooted to her Indian ties.
5. Neerja (2016)
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A comparatively recent biographical Hindi film, ‘Neeja’ pays homage to the 22-year old flight attendant Neerja Bhanot who had sacrificed her life during the hijack of Pan Am 73 in 1986. The character played by Sonam Kapoor, portrayed Neerja Bhanot’s bravery of choosing to sacrifice her life while saving the lives of three children. Even though the event originally occurred in 1986, a film centering on the flight attendant’s sacrifice is never too late as a tribute. The film ended with the Indian government posthumously honouring Neerja Bhanot with the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest military decoration for peace time valour and courageous action.